PC cassette interface and ROM BASIC (was Re: OT, but info needed: RAM uprade)

From: Tim Hotze <tim_at_thereviewguide.com>
Date: Sun Dec 27 16:11:04 1998

>The PC was introduced in 1981. IBM had no clue as to how popular it
>would become, or who their customers would be. The cassette interface
>was there to provide for a less expensive entry-level system. They soon
>discovered that almost everyone that bought a PC bought a floppy disk
>controller and drive.

Yeah... actually, I'm really glad. Knowing the way that IBM handles
backwards compatiblity... we might just now be getting rid of our tape

>Leaving the cassette interface out of later models made perfect sense.
>It was an extra cost that the vast majority of customers didn't need.

Exactly. That, and by the time of the AT and higher, low end was floppy,
high end hard drive. Floppies became affordable due to the AII's and the
PC's need for floppies.

>Are you sure it's useless?
>If you use IBM's disk BASIC or BASICA, you're actually using ROM BASIC.
>Try running BASICA on a clone sometime. It won't work. That's why
>MS-DOS for other platforms usually included GWBASIC.

Hehehe... just a year ago, I remember getting boco credits and saving like
40 minutes in math class by writing GWBASIC programs on a Zenith 248... if
I didn't live overseas, I'd love to get a 248...

>On the other hand, you can argue that it is useless, since most IBM
>customers don't use BASICA. Or QBASIC for that matter. Anyone using
>BASIC these days is likely to be using Visual BASIC.

So you're saying if I go and get an IBM PC it has BASICA on it? (I mean a
new one).

>I don't know what IBM's license from Microsoft for ROM BASIC is like;
>they may have paid a one-time flat license fee for it, like Apple did for

Hmm... that was a pretty good move on Apple's part, seeing how many
computers with Applesoft were sold.

*Ever onward, always forward. *
*Tim D. Hotze Panel Member, The Ultimate Web Host List*
*http://www.webhostlist.com worldsfate_at_geocities.com *
Received on Sun Dec 27 1998 - 16:11:04 GMT

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